Skip to main content

A man who took the witness stand during the Derek Chauvin trial has been charged with choking his ex-girlfriend outside the Minnesota State Fair last week.

Donald Wynn Williams, 34, from Minneapolis, has been charged with two counts of domestic assault — by strangulation (a felony) and attempting to inflict bodily harm on another (a misdemeanor) — in an incident that happened on Saturday, Aug. 27.

Williams also is accused of fighting officers when they tried to arrest them. He claimed to investigators that he still suffers PTSD from seeing George Floyd's death play out in front of him.

Williams was a witness to Floyd's murder at 38th St. and Chicago Ave. on May 25, 2020. Video footage taken that day showed Williams being one of the louder witnesses during the incident, telling Chauvin to get off Floyd and asking then-officer Tou Thao to step in. 

According to the criminal complaint:

On Saturday, Aug. 27 at about 5:15 p.m., police in St. Paul were advised of a domestic assault that took place in the area of Asbury St. and Midway Pkwy, just outside the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.

Officers met with a woman, who claimed that she and her three children were selling bottles of water on the blocks of Frankson Ave. and Arona St., as well as Arona St. and Midway Pkwy. She said she received a text from her ex-boyfriend, identified as Williams, asking her to buy ice for the coolers the water bottles were in. 

Williams later told police that he and the woman were still romantically involved at the time and were also business partners.

The complaint states the two got into an argument over it via text, with the woman saying she didn't want to leave her children alone. 

After awhile, the woman went to her vehicle, while Williams was sitting in his vehicle nearby. They once more got into an argument, with Williams then getting out of his car, walking up to the driver's side of the woman's car, and choking her through the open window.

He then proceeded to "backhand her on the left side of her face." Williams stopped when a witness yelled at him, and he fled the area.

The victim showed officers the injuries she suffered from the assault. A visible scratch mark and a small bruise as seen on her neck. She told authorities she feared for her life when Williams was allegedly strangling her.

Williams was found nearby shortly after the incident happened. The complaint alleges that Williams resisted arrest when police confronted him, but when an officer took out his Taser and pointed it at Williams, he complied and was handcuffed. 

Once they got to the squad car, Williams "began kicking the squad car door and stating if he could take the cuffs off, he would 'f*** up' the officers and kill them," according to the complaint. He also allegedly threatened one of the officers, saying that he knew the cop's family was and would "come after them."

Williams is a former MMA fighter and has a background in taekwondo, he said during Chauvin's trial in 2021.

In an interview with investigators, Williams said tensions were high throughout the day between him and his ex-girlfriend. He denied strangling, striking or touching her during the altercation. Williams also said he didn't comply with police because "he was worried about his daughter being left by herself," the complaint states. He also said he was "very angry" about being arrested, stating he suffers from PTSD related to the Floyd death and trial that followed.

According to court records, Williams has two pending cases that involve him allegedly obstructing the legal process. On Aug. 18, Williams was also given a continuance for dismissal on a charge of disorderly conduct where he originally faced a fifth-degree assault charge.

Williams was officially charged in Ramsey County Court on Monday. He is in custody at the county jail. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of just over three years in prison. 

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-12-06 at 2.47.44 PM

Chefs from 5 Twin Cities restaurants among James Beard Awards semifinalists

There are first time nominations for Shawn McKenzie and Ann Ahmed.

Screen Shot 2023-01-24 at 10.58.10 PM

Developing: Major police response to reported armed suspect in White Bear Lake

Authorities are asking people to avoid the area around the 3100 block of Karth Rd.

BNSF train

Man who died after being struck by train is identified

The incident remains under investigation.


Charges: Oakdale man set house on fire, killing 5 cats

Joshua Buhl reportedly set the fire to "get law enforcement's attention," a complaint states.


Arrest made after fire inside Uptown Target

Police were called to the store on a report of someone breaking in.

Ariyah Lewis

Missing 10-year-old girl last seen Jan. 20 in St. Paul

Ariyah Lewis was last seen on January 20 near the 1200 block of 7th Street in St. Paul.

West St Paul location

Erbert & Gerbert's opens new Minnesota location, with 7 more to follow

The sandwich chain has opened its doors in West St. Paul.

Screen Shot 2023-01-24 at 12.58.58 PM

Gov. Tim Walz budget plan calls for direct payments; tax cuts for seniors

Today's announcement completes a phased rollout of the budget proposal.

fsbc2022_chillstate_pineappleexpress_1610 (1)

Minnesota's first-of-its-kind THC drink distribution center opens

The distribution center is run by Fair State Brewing.


Screen Shot 2021-03-30 at 6.10.17 PM

Minneapolis firefighter questioned in tense exchange during second day of Chauvin trial

Multiple witnesses who were on the scene when George Floyd died in police custody were questioned Tuesday.

derek chauvin court - closing arguments

Derek Chauvin's attorney files motion for a new trial

Chauvin was convicted of the murder and manslaughter of George Floyd last month.

derek chauvin

$1.45M payout for correctional officers prevented from guarding Derek Chauvin

The officers were reportedly ordered to avoid Derek Chauvin while he was in jail.

Screen Shot 2021-04-12 at 6.36.53 PM

Chauvin trial: Cardiologist among witnesses as prosecution draws to close

On Monday, Judge Peter Cahill also rejected the defense's motion to sequester the jury following a fatal police shooting in Brooklyn Center.

derek chauvin trial

What to expect as opening statements begin in Derek Chauvin's trial

Chauvin faces three charges in connection to George Floyd's death last summer.

Chauvin trial - Jena Scurry

Derek Chauvin trial: 'Something was not right' during arrest, 911 dispatcher says

She testified that after seeing the arrest of Floyd, she called the police on the police.


Minneapolis, Chauvin, other officers sued over excessive force

Bodycam footage shows Chauvin kneeling on the necks of two civilians prior to his murder of George Floyd.